Music Reviews



AntiQuark: SkyDancer

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Dark / Gothic / Wave / New Wave / Dark Wave / Industrial Gothic
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Nov 07 2005
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Artist: AntiQuark (@)
Title: SkyDancer
Format: CD
Label: Pet Set Records
Rated: *****
This is the first time I've the opportunity to listen to Antiquark. The female duo formed by Ant (she's coming from the same city of mine,, Torino and she moved years ago to USA to study sharks) and Maren. Maren is also the singer of the Peppermints (see my review of their latest CD), she performed on several musical videos and she also have a job as a model. We have a different perception of what a model can be and it's so good to see one having good tastes about music :). Anyway... SkyDancer is their latest CD and it is a mini album containing seven new tracks along with four remixes of old tracks. The new tracks are a sort of electro extravaganza where dance beats meet experimental solutions under a punk attitute. I think that an important part of the the band's experimental attitude derive from the presence of Raul, their performer / postmodern dancer. He's the role model of the cover of the CD and he's the band's incarnation of the SkyDancer. The main track, in fact, is titled "SkyDancer (Raul our lady of love)". The four remixes see "Planet X" reworked by Marc Urselli (the other side of Chain D.L.K.), "Nulear suicide" (thanks to Tleilaxu Music Machine), "Loopoff effect" (remixed by Seven Lies About Girls) and "Chain mail" (remixed by Geoffro). The remixers tend to dilate the original track giving to them an industrial e.b.m. touch (Marc's one), a techno dancey mood (Tleilaxu's), an experimental gabber version (Seven Lies About Girls) and a electronic experimental version (thanks to Geoffro). Musically I can't compare Antiquark music to any other band, because of their attitude of being open to different form of music/art. I can only tell you that I really enjoyed this release and I can suggest you to give it a try.

FUNKER VOGT: Navigator

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Nov 02 2005
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Artist: FUNKER VOGT (@)
Title: Navigator
Format: CD
Label: Synthetic Symphony
Distributor: SPV
Rated: *****
With a new studio album of FUNKER VOGT it is a bit like in that classic short movie Dinner For One": same procedure as every year! But can we blame a band which has found a way to get that much success, that the band members can easily take the music to pay all bills? Should we really advise the band to stay dark and unknown in the underground through a change of the musical direction? I think we can’t do so. Yes, I would like to hear something new and refreshing, or something what could be called a musically risk. Unfortunately it is easily possible to exchange some tracks taken from the predecessor "Survivor" with some tracks available here. Nothing new also for the lyrical part, the whole stuff is still inspired by military things of victory or defeat, of known and unknown heroes – some track names already give you a hint, like "Killing Ground", "Fallen Hero" or the rather melodic piece "Friendly Fire". Yes, I am really hungry for something special from them, but as I said – can we really blame this band for trying to milk the cow as much as possible? This been said I was finally a lot surprised with the track "Für Dich", which is written by the singer Jens Kästel. It is a smooth and calm track with a huge emotional message – I would interpret the birth of an own child to be the reason for this track. All of you (and me included...) who have already seen or will soon see the wonder of a birth and the start of that big thing called "life" will dig this anthem a lot! So the greedy fans of this band will be very pleased with this whole album, globally said, it doesn’t offer anything new what can be considered as a development for the band – with the big and emotional exception named "Für Dich", which speaks out of my heart (Danke, Jens).

INTERFACE: Beyond Humanity

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Nov 02 2005
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Artist: INTERFACE (@)
Title: Beyond Humanity
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Unbelievable that this band is currently not signed! After the demise of their label Tinman which quits its business in the last year, this band is looking until today for a new and professional label. And with music like on this new full length CD "Beyond Humanity", I would like to advise the management of this band to contact the best and biggest labels of the scene. This release is currently self-produced, but it needs to be heard in all corners of this world! I am normally not to much into music somewhere placed in genres like Synth-, Future- or Electropop, but here I have received an unbelievable exception. They have also supported ASSEMBLAGE 23 on parts of his "Storm" tour, and I am sure that a lot of you out there saw on stage. "Beyond Humanity" is simply the best album out of this genres I have heard for a long time. People like mostly comparisons, so I would say that INTERFACE produce a fine mixture between A23 and CUT.RATE.BOX ("The Age Of Computers", "Faith in Nothing" ) with the tendency on the harder tracks (like "Mind Killer", or the dark "Insomniac") to get compared with the Australian ANGEL THEORY. The vocals are of course mostly clear and smooth and luckily not to much placed in the foreground. On some tracks they also integrate some cool KRAFTWERKian vocoder effects, especially on "Beyond Human". There is also an outstanding instrumental piece here with "Despair", and the band can enjoy with some well worked out melodic synth pads. My favorite next to the harder "Mind Killer" is the dancefloor smasher "Nobody’s Hero" with an unbeatable refrain and outstanding melodic synth play. If music done by the mentioned acts is your style you should hurry up now and start to purchase this one. Again – this band is currently not signed – labels, wake up and make your contacts!

EX_TENSION: Desert

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Ambient / Electronica / Ethereal / Dub / Soundscapes / Abstract
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Nov 01 2005
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Artist: EX_TENSION (@)
Title: Desert
Format: CD
Rated: *****
This French duo I have at first discovered with a promising and danceable Dark Electro track on the "In This Cold Terrific Room Vol. 2" compilation done by the La Chambre Froide label (www.lachambrefroide.net ). The band is currently unsigned and this two-track demo offers Dark Electro/Ambient inspired music, surprisingly in a different direction than the comp appearance. The title track "Desert" is an almost 32 minutes long sound collage with diverse inspirations – a bit too long to my taste – it is hard after a while to follow the track with all needed attention. This stuff reminds me a bit on never-ending tracks of the old and classic THE KLINIK here and there – although I should admit that this track moves away from this comparison in the middle of the track towards to a more complex and overlaying Electro/Industrial. The second track "Journey" comes closer to that THE KLINIK comparison, maybe with some hints to the now defunct countrymen of STIGMA – surely not a bad reference. This is a satisfying and promising dark and intrumental demo of one of the up and coming acts hailing from France. If this kind of music is your preference you should give this a listen. Here is a lot of potential and I am curious for their next work...

FRACTURED: Only Human Remains

 Posted by Marc Tater   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (2257)
Oct 31 2005
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Artist: FRACTURED (@)
Title: Only Human Remains
Format: CD
Label: NTP/Dependent (@)
Distributor: Alive!
Rated: *****
Already the announcement that this Canadian act would find in Dependent its new label home was a good one and I personally couldn’t await the day until this release invaded my home. This project, mainly leaded by Nick Gorman, has released in the past a self-produced first CD called "Contami-Nation" which is now totally sold out and a hard to get item. This project won also the latest remix contest to :WUMPSCUT:’s "Bone Peeler" CD and it was considered as one of the best unsigned bands at the forum of the Side-Line magazine. This reasons, plus also an excellent compilation appearance on the latest "Septic" compilation, made it finally happen, that Nick Gorman could get a deal with this German label instead of looking for a label nearer to his home country. It is also the first official release of the Dependent side-label NTP, which is leaded by Johan van Roy of SUICIDE COMMANDO. FRACTURED present on their first official CD finest Dark Electro/Industrial following known examples of the likes SKINNY PUPPY or MENTALLO & THE FIXER – and I must admit that I hate it to quote the notes done by colleges of the Zillo or Orkus magazines which are sales-supporting added on a sticker on the front of this CD. I also find it alarming that the promotional info sheet tries hard to figure out the aspects of how much FRACTURED are better than acts producing the currently overrated Terror-/Hellektro EBM thing. FRACTURED are miles above all averages, especially out of this pseudo-EBM genre – no doubt and question – but I find it not supporting for the evolution of this band to start comparisons with such a redundant kind of EBM. This been said, you now know what you get: finest Dark Electro with depth and dedication – the best I have heard since months. It is only surprising for me to hear that most tracks of this CD, especially "Becoming One" or "Haunted Memories" are rather slow and have their abilities in their strong melodic part and the dark mood. There are dancefloor smasher for sure – the title track mostly, but also "Everytime", "Between The Lines" and "Cold Eyes". All other tracks are slowing down the tempo and I would say they are more compatible for your home entertainment or with use of a good pair of headphones. Worth of noticing are also the disturbed effects mostly used on the vocals – an attitude which I have heard from this band also on a remix for their countrymen RE_AGENT. If any release deserves the title "must-have"- then this one!


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